THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority is working to develop a national framework that will enable oceangoing ships to recycle some waste.

Under the MARPOL Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, Australia must ensure port reception facilities are available to meet the waste disposal needs of visiting international ships.

In response to increasing concerns about marine plastic litter, the IMO adopted an action plan to address marine plastic litter from ships. The plan identified the need to improve reception facilities to encourage recycling and reduce potential marine plastic litter.

Following on a successful pilot conducted in 2018 at the ports of Brisbane and Hay Point in Queensland, AMSA is currently developing a national framework that will address several challenges to accepting recycling from international ships.

These include the remoteness of some ports and access to recycling plants, not causing undue delay to shipping, and importantly, ensuring that Australia’s biosecurity is not compromised.

Providing international ships with an easy way to recycle their onboard garbage while visiting Australian ports reduces the likelihood of waste being dumped illegally into our oceans.

It also is an important part of Australia’s National Waste Plan which aims to reduce land fill and improve the circular economy.